Georgia State University – Atlanta, GA
Big City Bustle
What It Feels Like To Go Here
Unlike most campuses, Georgia State University does not isolate itself into a specific area, but is meticulously and expertly mixed in with Downtown Atlanta. Think about it—you’ll get the opportunity to live the big city life in one of America’s fastest growing metro areas, while also enjoying the benefits and good times that only college life can offer. The school also holds an insane amount of diversity within its student body. Everyday interactions here will expose you to a myriad of different lifestyles and cultures that other traditional campuses could only dream of offering.
“As someone who has always admired the city life from afar, it was nice to marry my education with the hustle and bustle of Atlanta,” said junior Chelsea Bilbery. With its location in the heart of Atlanta, Georgia State offers all the authenticity of city life with the security and comfort of the college environment. Walk to class and witness different aspects of Atlanta culture on your way there through an incredible piece of street art, a talented musician sharing his song with the passersby or a hole-in-the wall shop that will expose you to styles and art that will take your breath away. This interweaving of culture and education makes GSU’s campus one of the more unique college experiences in the country.
GSU features some pretty notable alumni. Superfans of band Alice in Chains know that their lead singer William DuVall hails from the great Atlanta campus. You also have Georgia State to indirectly thank for Pretty Woman because Julia Roberts also attended the school. Ken Lewis, the current CEO of Bank of America, graduated from here as well with a B.A. in finance. This school gave him the tools he needed to head one of the largest banks of America (no pun intended). The college also encourages political activity within the city. Keisha Lance Bottoms, the current mayor of Atlanta, received her doctorate in law from Georgia State. The alumni that most sums up the energy of ATL, however, comes in the form of rapper Ludacris. The prolific rapper/actor earned his degree in music management in 1999 at none other than the prestigious Georgia State University.
Where We Hang
When looking for stuff to do or places to hang at Georgia State, it will never grow difficult to locate some type of notable spot. If you’re looking to stay close to campus then you can go to the University Center. They host a variety of events, parties and the famed Panther-Palooza concert series. Other common hangouts on campus include student centers and the recreation center. Both have a regular attendance and draw numbers. “Parties are tricky on-campus due to its placement in the city, and are usually held in off-campus private houses,” said alumnus John Martin. “Sometimes an organization may rent a venue close to campus and provide transportation to get there.”
But, as said before, the campus is right in the heart of the city of Atlanta. More likely than not, you and your friends will head off-campus via Atlanta’s very convenient MARTA transit (or Uber if you don’t feel like waiting) to indulge in some of Atlanta’s many amenities. You can grab a bite to eat at the famous venue “The Vortex” or indulge in the Atlanta nightlife at “Opera,” one of Atlanta’s premiere nightclubs.
1. How much are students partying?
“If there is partying to be done, it is rarely on campus. That makes it kinda hard to tell exactly how much and how often the student body parties. Most of the places I go to party, I can’t tell who are GSU students and who are just really lit ATL-eans, so that makes it more difficult to tell as well,” recent grad Reginald Welch said.
2. What will you get in trouble for at your school?
“Most of the stuff that is frowned upon here are probably the same stuff that any university doesn’t like. Plagiarism will get you into big trouble, and hazing will also get you in deep with those in charge,” senior Edward Davis said.
3. How much sex are students having?
“If I had to give it a number, I would rate it 4/10. Not extremely sexual, in fact, it is mainly just a healthy amount of sexual activity between couples,” freshman Tristan Cathery said.
4. What would you tell incoming freshman about your school?
“I was 21 [as a freshman], so my advice for incoming freshman is immediately start school after high school. If I hadn’t been completely done with my job at the time, I wouldn’t have gone back, and I know tons of people who were in a similar predicament who still haven’t. So don’t second guess attending school. You can always transfer if you don’t like the school,” junior Chelsea BIlbery said.
5. What attracts students to the university?
“I think that what attracts people to this school is the appeal of city life and the pretty affordable tuition for students living in the metro Atlanta area. I know that is what attracted me there. That is not to say that out-of-state students aren’t welcome, but I feel that those are huge factors for students living near or outside of the city,” senior Mahmood Awad said.
“The true beauty about GA State is that there are so many people of different backgrounds and focuses. It may take a second, but anyone can find their niche and a group of peers like them.” – John Martin, Class of 2017.
“I received my undergrad here and returned to complete my masters. I think that speaks to how much I enjoyed my time at GSU. Being in the middle of Atlanta exposed me to levels of diversity among students and faculty that I feel are unheard of on other campuses. I would recommend this place to anyone, especially if you are from a small town, looking to get a taste of big city life.” – Gregory Joseph, Class of 2016.
“GSU has provided me with countless opportunities that I feel are unique to this campus. Being placed in the middle of an ever-growing city can make things difficult sometimes in terms of getting around and dealing with people, but it also provides endless opportunities for several different career fields. My professors are all very good and I would highly recommend coming here, especially if you live in Georgia.” – Jonathan Guest, Class of 2019.
“GSU has been a blast so far. Being in the school’s Panther Band has been a particular highlight. It has introduced me to a bunch of incredible individuals that I have made this new college experience easier to accept.” – Marcus Cain, Class of 2020.
“I’m relatively new to GSU since I transferred from Ogelthorpe, but I have been a part of the school’s color guard since freshman year. The amount of great people I’ve met here is impossible to count. Even when I wasn’t officially one of them, they treated me like a Panther. I couldn’t ask for a better environment to study in.” – SallieKate Keffer, Class of 2019
Top 3 Majors
3. Social Sciences
Top 3 Student Organizations
1. Student Alumni Association
Far and away, the largest student organization on campus, with over 2,500 members, is the GSU Student Alumni Association. Although it was formed relatively recently, this organization goes out of its way to unite current students with alumni in order to foster a stronger sense of community and comfort on campus. They are also known for their volunteer work and scholarship opportunities as well. “I’m not in the organization personally, but I’d be hard pressed to say that you didn’t see the SAA’s influence in various aspects of campus life,” said alumnus Gregory Joseph.
2. Intramural Sports
“In my experience, when a group of friends want to participate in a collective activity, one of the first places they go is to the recreational center to join some intramural sport,” said junior Michael Ashley. Atlanta may not look like prime real-estate for open fields to play on, but GSU fixes that problem. The Rec-Center offers a diverse array of activities such as Dodgeball, Disc Golf, Bowling, Billiards, Flag Football, and many more. Joining an organization that encourages competitive sporting like IM’s draws a lot of students looking to scratch their athletic itch.
3. Spotlight Programs Board
This student-run organization acts as one of the largest organizations on campus. They hold the responsibility of organizing various events and activities around campus as well as encouraging volunteer work and campus involvement. “I had an awesome time volunteering and it was my first time too. I would definitely do it again and maybe join one of their committees,” said recent grad Meka Ashley. Spotlight has organized events such as concerts, homecoming events and parades, guest speakers and a variety of other events that help enrich the lives of Georgia State’s student body. They also host and organize Panther-Palooza, an annual event that has attracted acts such as Future and Lil’ Wayne.
“I don’t work for the department of admissions, but I do know that GSU values intelligence, reliability and general concern and respect for one’s community. Good grades and test scores will help a lot in terms of applying, but volunteer work, internships or outstanding work and social references will put you ahead of the rest in terms of getting in,” said Joseph. GSU holds its community in high regard and always gravitates towards students looking to serve it. Special skills such as musical talents or athletic prowess also don’t hurt in the application phase, especially if they pertain to your major. Overall, GSU attempts to continue its tradition of excellence and diversity through admitting those willing to better themselves, as well as the environment in which they learn.
Location: Atlanta, GA 30303
Tuition and Fees: $5,943 (In-State) $15,048 (Out of State) per semester
Total Cost: $24,658 (In-State) $39,226 (Out-of-State)
Undergrads Enrolled: 22,767
Grads Enrolled: 8,050
Total Enrolled: 31,533
Acceptance percentage: 52%
Percent Admitted who Enroll: 44%
Percentage of Male Students: 40%
Percentage of Female Students: 60%
Percentage Receiving Financial Aid: 94%
Percentage Receiving Federal Grants: 57%
Percentage Receiving Federal Loans: 54%